WEATHERFORD, Okla. – Two weeks ago, NCAA Division II used social media to start a discussion about the best college basketball arenas. On Tuesday, they released their results with SWOSU’s Pioneer Cellular Event Center making the list, which included the Top 12 arenas in Division II ranked in no particular order.
The case for the building, as made by the story is: The Pioneer Cellular Event Center is relatively new to the DII basketball scene. It officially opened its doors in 2014 as home to the basketball and volleyball Bulldog teams. The 93,000 square-foot facility seats about 4,000 on gameday. The women's team has had great success at home the past few seasons. They went 12-1 at the Pioneer Center a year ago, and are currently undefeated (9-0) as the No. 13 team in DII.
SWOSU had the only arena from the Great American Conference and the state of Oklahoma to be recognized by the story. Other arenas recognize included Alaska Airlines Center (Alaska-Anchorage), Wachs Arena (Northern State), Gross Memorial Coliseum (Fort Hays State), O’Reilly Family Event Center (Drury), Minot State Dome (Minot State), Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex (Indiana, Pa.), Joel R. & Barbara Stubblefield Convocation Center (Arkansas-Fort Smith), Tex Turner Arena (Lincoln Memorial), Convocation Center (USC Aiken), Stephens Arena (Angelo State) and William L. White Auditorium (Emporia State.).
“Since opening in 2014, the Pioneer Cellular Event Center has been the crown jewel of western Oklahoma and a home court that our student-athletes, fans and alumni can take great pride in,” SWOSU Athletic Director Todd Thurman said. “Many people worked very hard to make this dream become a reality for Pioneer Cellular, the City of Weatherford and Southwestern Oklahoma State University and it’s very rewarding to see our arena mentioned alongside the absolute best in NCAA Division II.”
Last season, the Pioneer Cellular Event Center was featured on national television for the first time, with the NCAA Division II Basketball Showcase emanating from Weatherford as the Bulldogs hosted Arkansas Tech on January 28, 2017. With four home games remaining, the No. 11 Lady Bulldogs are among the Top 20 teams in NCAA Division II for attendance.
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